Sports

At stake for St. Louis in Stanley Cup Finals: admission to exclusive championship club

The Stanley Cup, Vince Lombardi Trophy, Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy and commissioner’s trophy for the World Series winner are the cherished hardware for North America’s major-league sports.

The list of cities that have claimed all four is a short one, but another could be added in a matter of days:

St. Louis.

The Blues defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1 on Thursday night and took a 3-2 lead in the Stanley Cup. St. Louis can win the Cup at home in Game 6 on Sunday.

With a hockey championship, St. Louis will complete the major-league title cycle.

Baseball’s Cardinals have won the World Series 11 times. Only the Yankees have more MLB championships. Football’s Rams captured the Super Bowl for the 1999 season, four years after relocating from Los Angeles.

When did St. Louis have an NBA team? From 1955-68, the Hawks called St. Louis home. And they defeated the Boston Celtics for the 1958 championship.

Perhaps had the Hawks had not traded their first draft pick in 1956, Bill Russell, to the Celtics, St. Louis would have remained an NBA city longer.

If the Blues win this series, St. Louis will join New York/New Jersey, Boston/New England, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Philadelphia in the pro sports hardware grand slam.

Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia joined the list recently with the Eagles’ Super Bowl title and Stanley Cup championship for the Capitals.

Other cities are close. Miami needs a Stanley Cup, Detroit a Super Bowl, Dallas/Arlington a World Series. Seattle also would join the group with a baseball title. The city has never been part of the NHL but in 1917 became the first American team to win the Stanley Cup, which then involved several leagues.

Pittsburgh would be part of the list if we could include the fictional Pisces’ NBA title in the 1979 flick “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh.”

Technically, a grand slam was possible for Kansas City, home to the NBA’s Kings for 13 seasons and NHL’s Scouts for two years. The Kings reached the conference finals once. The Scouts, with 27 victories in 160 games over two seasons ... never came close.

Big trophy hunting

Cities and teams that have won sports’ biggest prize:

New York/NJ: Yankees, Mets, Jets, Giants, Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, Devils

Boston: Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics Bruins

Chicago: Cubs, White Sox, Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks

Los Angeles/Anaheim: Dodgers, Angels, Raiders, Lakers, Kings, Ducks

Philadelphia: Phillies, Athletics, Eagles, Warriors, Sixers, Flyers

Washington: Senators, Redskins, Bullets, Capitals

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